Category: Hype

Hype: State of Decay Year One Survival Edition

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Undead Labs first game State of Decay comes to Xbox One (and PC) with Year One Survival Edition in just a few weeks! Featuring a host of improvements on the original release, this is the ultimate version of the great game originally released in 2013.

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Year One Survival Edition features: (more…)

October27fest: Halo 5 Guardians – 343s time to shine

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Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries announced on Sunday (29th March) that Halo 5 Guardians will be launching worldwide on 27th October 2015, for the first time a Halo game will be shipping in October and will form part of Microsoft’s blockbuster line-up for Xbox One this holiday.

Having already played Halo 5 Guardians beta we know what to expect in the arena multiplayer style with the bigger maps and game modes featuring large-scale battles involving vehicles still under wraps but I enjoyed my taste so far. After the issues that Halo The Master Chief Collection has had, there are people obviously sceptical about whether Halo 5 will work as intended when it releases, now I’m no mystic meg but I think given what we have played so far of Halo 5 it worked as you would expect and I don’t really have any major concerns for it when it releases in 7 months, I think there are other things I am somewhat concerned about.

343 Industries I do feel are under pressure, not necessarily from Microsoft but from the long time fans of the franchise and gaming community in general to produce a game worthy of the name and its place as Xbox’s première franchise, without Halo’s success I really have no idea where Xbox would be but I don’t think it would be very far. (more…)

There Came an Echo (Iridium Studios) and great indie marketing

A title I’ve not mentioned before called There Came an Echo comes out on February 24th and the developer Iridium Studios are doing a great giveaway on NeoGaf by giving a free copy of the game to every member who replies to the thread within 48 hours and has a title on their post.

First off lets discuss what the actual game is: There Came an Echo is a voice controlled real-time strategy game with a heavy narrative focus, they have a great art style, voice cast and it looks very interesting, I have been following it for a while and it is due out on Xbox One and Playstation 4 later in the year too.

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So what makes it great marketing? NeoGaf and other message boards have a large reach, these are the people that spend a lot of time and money on games, will buy the game day 1 and are also be the most vocal about their hobby, having a large dedicated group of people gain access to your game even for “free” could end up being extremely beneficial in the long-run. (more…)

Don Bradman Cricket coming to next-gen February 13th

With the World Cup starting soon the definitive cricket game is coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4 on 13th February (UK). Don Bradman Cricket made by Big Ant Studios in Australia is the next-gen version of the award-winning and pretty awesome cricket game.

Big Ant Studios have made a cricket game that clearly had a lot of time and effort put into it to make it a new experience that is by far the best cricket game I’ve ever played, the controls are intuitive, the game has a very deep career mode with a player creator, multiple leagues and countries to play in featuring all forms of the game: T20, One Day and First Class and the International circuit for your player once they are old enough and good enough. (more…)

Blues and Bullets an episodic noire action-adventure game for Xbox One

I posted my review of their first console game this week: Funk of Titans but now its time to look to the future and see whats next for the Barcelona based indie developer.

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Blues and Bullets is an episodic noire action-adventure game currently aiming to release episode 1 on Xbox One in Q2 this year. (more…)

Grip Games upcoming titles: Jet Car Stunts, Unmechanical Extended and Tower of Guns

Grip Games have been working hard on a few new titles for next-gen consoles (and PS3) which are due out soon, check them out below:

Jet Car Stunts: Next-Gen Edition

Already available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PSVita Jet Car Stunts makes its way to Xbox One and Playstation 4 soon in the “Next-Gen Edition”. Jet Car Stuns website

“Jet Car Stunts is a thrilling racing experience that combines driving and flying with asynchronous multiplayer lets you race against the best players wherever and whenever you like with new cars, game modes, features and graphics.”

 

 

Unmechnical: Extended

Available on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Playstation 3 with a release date and price to be announced soon Unmechanical: Extended Edition is a puzzle adventure game that combines tricky puzzle solving, alluring exploration, and an engrossing atmosphere. Grip Games is bringing Unmechanical to new platforms with an additional level, story and puzzles. See the trailer below for more. Unmechnical: Extended Edition website

Tower of Guns

Announced in partnership with Terrible Posture Games, their new partnership will bring the indie hit Tower of Guns to Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Playstation 3 in early 2015. Tower of Guns website

“Tower of Guns is an old school first person shooter, with rogue-elite elements, stylish graphics and randomized levels and enemies. It is a pure FPS experience for the players who just want to get a big gun, shoot things, battle gigantic bosses, upgrade their abilities and modify their gear. Whenever the player dies, he returns to the beginning, but stronger and better equipped than before and will face a different level layouts and enemies to keep the things fresh.” (via Grip Games PR)

Kickstarter: Parkitect by Texel Raptor

 

screenshot08Parkitect is the latest take on the Rollercoaster Tycoon business management game in which you run and design a theme park. As someone who enjoyed the original Rollercoaster Tycoon but less so the later ones and a tycoon game fan in general I’m quite excited by this new game. The art style is quite  charming in a modern sort of way which I like its trying to do too much, flat edges, clean and colourful look, it looks a bit like a model play set but is distinctive enough to gain my attention.

Something interesting that the developers did with their Kickstarter campaign (ive no idea how common it is) was to decide against specific stretch goals, they locked their platforms in at PC, Mac and Linux with the former coming first and then said that any further funding that they received above what they requested on their Kickstarter would just go towards making the game better all round rather than promising specific extras:

[Stretch goals] NONE. We want to make one, excellent game. Stretch goals run the risk of over-scoping the game and causing financial problems. We’ve decided against them after researching successful projects.

If we overshoot our goal, it will go towards making the game bigger and better. Some possibilities are mod support, online features (not multiplayer), map/coaster sharing (possibility of an in-game browser), and an expert mode for the coaster builder. How is that not a stretch goal in itself? We will do our best to try to add these features with whatever money we might raise, but extra funding will help us make these features easier and faster. That said, some might prove impossible or just plain not fun. We want to be as transparent as possible and we’ll share with you our plans for the game if/when they change.

 

This is an approach I respect a lot as the developers are avoiding what they see as key pitfalls of the Kickstarter process when its unlikely to improve the game sufficiently, the Kickstarter finished at just over 25% more funding than they asked for which should allow them some breathing space to look at the other features they are considering without the obligation to putting them in. I’d much rather they developers kept to their plan and made it how they wanted to.

 

The Kickstarter trailer below really does capture RCT very well and I’m excited to see what they have come up when the game launches in Steam Early Access in August next year.

Kickstarter page – you can donate with a PayPal link if you’re interested

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Kickstarter: Hard West by Creative Forge Games

 

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A game I back on Kickstarter a while back that I think looks excellent, Hard West is a turn-based squad tactical with adventurous world exploration, the developer says its a mix of X-Com combat with Heroes of Might and Magic world wap.

There aren’t a huge amount of wild west games (and unfortunately I wasn’t a huge fan of Red Dead Redemption) – I like the isometric viewpoint and the style of the game, it looks fun and an interesting take on the genre.

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The combat is fast, intended to be be a quick shootout and if you’re not fully prepared for it (or not precise enough) you’ll likely die, the world map looks big and varied with lots to do and it seems like a well detailed game, authentic to the time period its using but also adding their own ideas into it.

If the game ends up as good as it sounds I think Hard West will be an impressive game, its coming to PC, Mac and Linux in August 2015.Hard West 3

Kickstarter link – the developers are accepting PayPal donations if you want to help fund it.

Alpha video with commentary by one of the developers:

Coming soon: Holiday 2014 Xbox One downloadable games

Whilst there are plenty of games planned for release on all platforms this holiday here’s a small selection of the ones for Xbox One that are coming up soon:

 

Ori and the Blind Forest

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Moon Studios incredible looking “metroidvania” platform adventure game is due for release sometime this holiday where you play as Ori, a white guardian spirit who has his mother taken from him the game is the story and his new friend Sein and their quest through the Blind Forest. Extended gameplay video from IGN at Gamescom 2014:

Developer: Moon Studios – Publisher: Microsoft Studios – Release date: Holiday 2014 (2015 for Xbox 360) – Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360 – Official website

Styx: Master of Shadows

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Styx: Master of Shadows is an infiltration game with RPG elements from Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive due out next week on next-generation consoles and PC. Styx is a two century old master thief who is intent on getting to the top of the Tower of Akenash, relying on stealth who wants to get to the top and with that gain the power and riches that go with it, it seems like there is a story of discovery for Styx as well as he learns about his true origins whilst on this heist.  Styx looks like it has some interesting gameplay mechanics to go with using the shadows to sneak around and thats really why im interested in it.

Here is a 15 minute gameplay video from E3 2014 to see more:

Developer: Cyanide Games – Publisher: Focus Home – Release date: October 7th – Price: $29.99/£24.99 – Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC – Official website

Spectra 8 Bit Racer

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Spectra is a fast paced retro style racing game with a distinctive art style. Featuring 10 unique music tracks procedural levels are generated you must navigate around obstacles and collect points whilst trying to avoid following off the track, a simple premise but one that looks fun and as you get further along the levels the gameplay speeds up to become more frantic requiring more skill to complete. The game is in certification with the XBox team (Via Gateway Interactive’s twitter feed) so hopefully should be out soon.

Gameplay trailer:

Developer: Gateway Interactive – Self-published via ID@Xbox – Release date: Coming soon – Platforms: Xbox One (also Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8) – Official website

How to Survive Storm Warning Edition

How-to-Survive-Storm-Warning-Edition-reroFollowing the release for last-gen consoles and PC last year How to Survive makes it way to next-gen in the Storm Warning Edition featuring all the DLC. How To Survive is an isometric zombie survival adventure with two player co-op with your character ending up shipwrecked on an island you must collect the page of the survival guide and find key items such as food, water and shelter to help you survive (!) whilst you try to figure out what’s going on. There are over 100 handmade weapons and tools, 3 characters to choose from with different characteristics and a skill tree to level your characters and adapt to your new surroundings, it also features an interesting sounding challenging mode as well to play with a friend. EKO said via twitter that they are working on certification with Microsoft and Sony so hopefully it should be out soon.

Here’s a short gameplay trailer

Developer: EKO Entertainment – Publisher: 505 Games – Release date: Coming soon – Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4 – Official website

Project Totem

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Press Play makers of 2013 platform adventure Max The Curse of Brotherhood announced a side project earlier this year in Project Totem, a puzzle game where you “control two pieces of a totem pole at the same time with the same input, the challenge, the two are not always on the same path!” With couch co-op available too it looks like an interesting game and one that will probably frustrate me considerably but it looks very fun and charming and will tide me over until Press Play’s next major game due for announcement next year.

Comic- Con 2014 gameplay and interview via Gamespot

Developer: Press Play – Publisher: Microsoft Studios – Release date: Holiday 2014 – Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360 – Official website

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

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The newest entry in the incredible Geometry Wars series resurrected by Activision as part of their new Sierra branding will be released this holiday period on all major platforms. Some big changes are 3D levels, bosses and a host of multiplayer modes which will be interesting to see how they affect the tried and true Geometry Wars formula perfected with Retro Evolved 2 on XBLA.

Gameplay trailer from PAX Prime:

Developer: Lucid Games – Publisher: Sierra – Release date: Holiday 2014 – Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, PC – Official website

Never Alone

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Never Alone is an atmospheric puzzle platformer (for one or two players) built in partnership with the Alaskan Native Community which delves deeply into the traditional lore of the Iñupiat people of the Arctic. You play as either the girl or the fox to complete puzzles using both characters unique skills and abilities across Arctic environments in a game I never thought I would see. The E3 trailer shows a bit about the game and how it looks, it’s coming on 18th November for $14.99 (around £12 or slightly under depending on how generous each platform holder is with exchange rates) and tells the story of Kunuuksaayuka as told by a master Iñupiat storyteller in the spoken Iñupiaq language. It looks fun and I hope to see more before release, I love the idea of the setting though, quite interesting.

Developer: Upper One Games – Self-published via ID@Xbox – Release date: November 18th – Price: $14.99 – Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC – Official website

#IDARB

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“#IDARB is a chaotic 8-player eSport jumping jetpack future arena ball game that is as inspired by Bomberman and Smash Bros. as it is by cans of soda, paint-by-number books, and driving five miles faster than the speed limit.”

I didn’t think I could give a better description of #IDARB than the one given on the website, its multiplayer mayhem, looks fun with friends and its good to see Other Ocean developing the game with the community. Its recently gone into certification so will hopefully be out soon.

Gamespot did a very long gameplay video of it which has plenty to show off the game

Developer: Other Ocean Inc – Self-published via ID@Xbox – Release date: Coming soon – Platforms: Xbox One, PC – Official website

 

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UK-based independent game publisher Ripstone and Swedish-based independent developer Zoink! Games recently released Stick it to the Man on Xbox One via ID@Xbox following the critically acclaimed release on PS3/4/Vita/WiiU and Steam earlier this year,is about Ray, a hard hat tester who has a bizarre accident at work, here is the synopsis from the developer:

“Ray has a bizarre accident and wakes up with a giant pink spaghetti arm sticking out of his brain! With his awesome new powers he can read minds and change the world with stickers but soon enough he finds himself on the run for a crime he didn’t commit. Can you help Ray out of this sticky situation?” (Via Stickitgame.com)

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I will releasing my review of the title sometime this week.

Stick it to the Man is available via Xbox.com and the Xbox Games Store on Xbox One priced at £6.39/€7.99/$9.99

Xbox One launch trailer and images

New Clandestine (PC) video and screenshots

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Logic Artists showed off more of their unique co-op spy thriller over Gamescom recently and the game continues to look better each time they show it off. They have released a new trailer with a gameplay to give you an idea of how it plays and what it looks like as well as some new screenshots and renders. The “Network View” looks particularly interesting one co-op partner helps another get through the level:

The new Gamescom trailer and some character and NPC renders below that

Games that I’m most excited about from Gamescom part 1

Here are the games I’m most looking forward to from Gamescom (part 1):

Quantum Break – Xbox One (Remedy/Microsoft Studios)

Finally the gameplay presentation I have been waiting for since last E3 and whilst i’ve seen some people offer a tepid response to it I thought it looked great. Some of that great Alan Wake atmosphere mixed with some Max Payne gameplay, the time elements look interesting and the game looks great too, you can tell its running on Xbox One because it has lost the vaseline smear effect which I much prefer.

Hollowpoint – PC/Playstation 4 (Ruffian Games/Paradox Interactive)

Ruffian’s new original project unveiled at the Sony conference and as part of the Sony/Paradox deal announced at E3 the game is first on PS4 for consoles. A2.5  tactical 4 player co-op action game set in a world of corporate armies fighting each other and your job is to build up your organisation, it gives me a darker Shadow Complex vibe and looks great, the game is out in early 2015.

The Escapists – PC/Xbox One (Mouldy Toof Studios/Team17)

One of the titles ID@Xbox’s Chris Charla announced as first to console on Xbox One, The Escapists is about escaping from prison – building your character up and devising that perfect escape plan to break out. Combining RPG elements, crafting mechanics, and planning your escape in a great pixelated look. The game is due out on Xbox One early in 2015.

Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions – Xbox 360/Xbox One and others unconfirmed (Lucid Games/Sierra Games)

One of my favourite franchises is making a return through Activision Blizzard’s new indie initiative which gives their legacy IPs to developers to make a new entry in the series. Lucid Games made up of former Bizarre Creations (Geometry Wars creators) employees are trying their hand at the return of Geometry Wars 3.

So far we only have a few images released and it has a nice aesthetic but I’m concerned at the 3D “dimensions” gameplay more akin to Super Stardust HD to Geometry Wars of old. I remain hopeful though that despite no involvement from Geometry Wars creator and almost sole developer Stephen Cakebread that the new one lives up to its successors.

Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions features:

  • Full 3D Gameplay
  • Online Multiplayer
  • Cooperative Modes
  • Over 10 Battle Modes
  • 50 Missions

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Rise of the Tomb Raider – Xbox 360/Xbox One (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix)

Announced as an Xbox exclusive for holiday 2015 (PC and Playstation formats sometime in 2016 presumably) unfortunately they didn’t show anymore new footage just showed the E3 footage against whilst making the new announcement which is obviously a new development between E3 and Gamescom.

I was a big fan of the reboot released in early 2013 and I can’t wait to play the sequel on Xbox One next year.

Below – Xbox One/PC (Capybara Games)

A game I’m very excited about (and i’ve written a number of posts about) got a new trailer at Gamescom during the Xbox briefing and was confirmed for a 2015 release. The atmosphere and gameplay looks great, I can’t wait to play it.

Clandestine – 90s Spy Thriller by Logic Artists (PC)

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I saw this on NeoGaf and is sounds like exactly the sort of game I might like. Due for release this year on PC and inspired by the likes of Alpha Protocol, Thief 2, Deus Ex, Hitman Blood Money and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory which is a pretty interesting list. I would love a proper spy game and I was disappointed by Alpha Protocol (although I have the PC version on Steam so I might go back to it) but loved Blood Money, Deus Ex Human Revolution and Splinter Cell Blacklist so this could be right up my alley, I still need to play the original Splinter Cell games too.

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The co-op aspects sounds quite unique as well, rather than having two “agents” in the field you have one doing the mission (like Jack Bauer in 24) and the other player the “hacker” side job in the van, running point (ala Chloe O’Brian) to assist the agent in completing the mission, here’s a better description of it from an interview they did:

“Basically, one player is the field agent – they have the physical presence in the game world, and they have a pistol. The other player is a hacker, sitting in front of a bank of PC monitors an inconspicuous van somewhere in the level, and the hacker has to guide the spy through the mission, supply the spy with all the information that they need to stay alive and out of too much trouble, and provide more direct assistance by hacking security cameras, unlocking electronic doors, providing distractions at crucial moments, and so on and so forth. It’ll also be playable in singleplayer, where you’ll play as the spy but some of the hacker stuff is available if you physically access a PC, and other things can be activated through a context-sensitive command wheel.” (Via RPG Watch)

A very interesting way of doing it.

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Logic Artists have made two previous games: Expeditions: Conquistador for PC, Mac & Linux and Conquistador Mobile for Windows Phone 7 which are both RPGs and Expeditions: Conquistador has a metacritic rating of 77.

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Here is the teaser trailer and first development diary for Clandestine they released with details of the story and how the gameplay will work (link to alpha announcement as well):

 

 

Holiday Games 2014: My pre-orders

These are the games I have pre-ordered for later in the year, in release date order (they’re all for Xbox One unless otherwise stated)

Metro Redux – 4A Games/Deep Silver – 29th August

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I’ve always wanted to play the Metro games and this is a great package for both, updated for new consoles and I’m really looking forward to finally giving them a shot. The series is very highly rated with people who have played them, having good word of mouth can only be a good thing for the game and 4A games seem to do a good job technically with their titles, the price for the package is very appealing as well and a really good move from them.

Destiny – Bungie/Activision – 9th September

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This might get cancelled, I wasn’t a fan of the beta much if I’m honest so I’m unsure. It looked nice but I just wasn’t convinced it was something I wanted to put my money down on and play. Im not someone who wants to play MMOs or the like and the way the world was constructed from what I played didn’t seem like the sort of thing I would really enjoy, I have plenty of other games to play so perhaps one getting bumped wouldn’t be a bad thing but I haven’t fully decided yet. (more…)